Getting hitched is not just about the ‘I do’s but also about sorting out some of the legal matters, like getting your prenup notarized. A prenup is a contract between future spouses to detail various financial matters, such as property division, alimony, debt, and budgets. However, to make it final, you may need to get it notarized. In fact, some states require it, and it’s optional in other states. However, many attorneys will still recommend that you get your prenup notarized, even in those optional states. Keep reading to understand more about notarization, what makes a prenup valid, more on whether or not a prenup is valid without notarization, and how to get your prenup notarized.
What is notarization?
Notarization is when a Notary Public signs off and places an official stamp on a document after watching the signatories sign it. This is typically done for marriage certificates, I-9 forms, prenups, and other important documents. A Notary Public is a state-appointed official who verifies that the people signing the document are who they say they are by verifying their identification. That is why you will need to bring a proper form of identification to your notarization session. They also ensure that the signers understand what they are signing and that they are doing so willingly.
What makes a prenup valid?
Let’s talk about prenups for a second. Prenups are contracts made between two people who are about to get married. The law that controls prenups is a state matter, meaning each state creates its own prenup rules. What “flies” in one state may not “fly” in another state. In other words, what is considered a valid and enforceable prenup in California may not be considered valid in Minnesota.
There are certain requirements that each state lays out to determine the validity and enforceability of a prenup. Most states agree that all prenups should be in writing, signed by both parties, include some level of financial disclosure, be entered into voluntarily, and not be unconscionable. Where states tend to differ on formalities are witnesses and notarization. A handful of states formally require witnesses and/or notarization. Those that consider notarization a requirement…well, you guessed it–they require your prenup to be notarized. If it’s not notarized, then it’s not considered a valid prenup in that state. However, not all states require this–validity is a matter of state law.
Is a prenup valid without notarization?
So, let’s get right to it–is your prenup valid without notarization? Depends on what state you’re in. If you are in a state that requires notarization, then your prenup will be invalid without notarization. Plus, many lawyers will recommend you get your prenup notarized even if you don’t end up in a state that requires it. Why? Well, that answer is twofold. One, if you end up moving to a state where notarization is required, it covers your bases in terms of formality requirements. Thus, if your prenup were ever questioned in another state, you’d be protected. Two, it’s a very simple and affordable way to add a layer of protection to your agreement. Notarization verifies the identity and legitimacy of the signing of the prenup, so no one have a strong argument that they never signed it or that they weren’t sure what they were signing or something of that nature.
How do I get my prenup notarized?
There are several ways to get your prenup notarized and it can be broken down into two categories: remote notarization (i.e., getting your prenup notarized virtually) and in-person notarization (i.e., getting your prenup done, well, in person). With HelloPrenup, we make it super simple to get your prenup notarized. You can actually get your agreement notarized right through our platform. Just complete your prenup, go to the notarization section in the HelloPrenup app, follow the instructions to get started, meet your virtual notary, sign your document, and voila! You’ve got yourself a fully executed prenup, notarized and all.
There is also the option of going in person. You can go in person to get your prenup notarized if you’re an old-school kinda guy or gal. This may be at a bank, at a UPS store, at a law firm, or anywhere else you can find a registered Notary Public.
The bottom line is that a prenup may not be valid without notarization; it depends on your state
So there you have it, folks– no matter what state you are in, the safest route is to get your prenup notarized. This is because, in some states, your prenup can be considered invalid without notarization. Not only that, but getting your prenup notarized is easy and affordable. And it serves as a proactive measure, adding an extra layer of protection to your agreement and mitigating potential future disputes. As you gear up for your marriage adventure, notarization is just a tiny blip on the radar, so no need to stress! Plus, we’ve got you covered with a super easy process through HelloPrenup.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]